Monday, June 22, 2009


Today's recommendation from me is a double-whammy. As in, two for the price of one. Yes, two recommendations. And since the recommendations are free to begin with, this all works out to an EXCEEDINGLY GOOD DEAL.

My first recommendation is participating in Infinite Summer. Of course, those who read my other blog already know about this (and are probably wishing I would shut up about it), but Infinite Summer is a kind of virtual, online reading group, a communal project with the goal of slogging through David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest during the summer. Yes, all 980 pages plus 100 pages of footnotes. It started yesterday, but you can totally catch up.

Infinite Jest is a book I had been meaning to read for quite some time. Haven't we all, really? But that is about as far as many people go with it. I am firmly convinced that a large portion of its reputation is due to the cliché of pseudo-intellectual hipsters who continually see fit to namedrop the novel and discuss its importance and influence without having actually read it. To me, this project is at least partially about destroying this image with which the novel has been saddled. It's about not being the stereotypical pseudo-intellectual who skims Wikipedia entries for a faint grasp on a book so that one can name-drop it in conversation. It's about setting an achievable goal and turning it into a small but not insignificant personal success. It's about following through on things. 

Speaking of following through on things, that is the topic of the second recommendation: knowing when to say when. I am overextended and overwhelmed and exhausted right now. I have too much on my plate:
  • Infinite Summer
  • various other books I had intended to read this summer
  • preparing for the impending semester
  • my goddamn job
  • packing things to move out of my apartment by July 31
  • At least 2 cds worth of cover songs to record as thank you gifts for the autism walk
  • An entire EP to write and record
  • artwork for these two projects
  • the increasing demands of Its Flaws Were What Made Us Have Fun, which appears to be developing the beginning of what could almost be considered an audience.
  • a few other stressors of a more personal and private nature that I will not be discussing here.
The point of all this is to say that I am going to be taking a temporary break from writing recommendations on this blog. A hiatus. As you can see, I do have a lot I am dealing with right now, and I think that the pressure implicit in a blog like this to produce content daily, as well as the irrational guilt I feel whenever I don't produce anything, has taken its toll on me and only caused more stress and anxiety. I know that I often joke about plans as being promises to be broken, but I don't like breaking promises, and therefore, I am not making these promises. Maybe I will be able to resume posting after I've moved out of this apartment; time will tell.

In the meantime, though, I do intend to follow through on Infinite Summer, and I hope you do, too. Not to push the other blog again, but I have posted links to some valuable resources and tips over there. Until next time, have a great (Infinite) summer.

1 comment:

  1. I am going to do this Infinite Summer thing. Of course, I'm going to be starting late since I just ordered the book from Amazon like ten minutes ago, but I just couldn't pass up the fantastic savings.


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